GOP Event Attacked

PUBLISHED: 7:39 PM 10 Feb 2020

Man Drives Van Into GOP Registration Tent, Officials “Unsure” If Politically Motivated

Wait… how can they possibly say that the attack could have been something other than a politically motivated hate crime?

Timms has been arrested, but hasn't spoken about his motive. (Source: KHOU Screenshot)

On Saturday, Gregory William Loel Timm, while with a suspended license, drove a van deliberately into a tent where the Republican Party of Duval County, Florida were registering people to vote. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident, but were “unsure” about the man’s motivation.

Timm faces multiple charges, including two counts of aggravated assault on a person 65 years of age or older, one count of criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license.

First Coast News reported:

On Saturday afternoon, police responded to the Walmart at 11900 Atlantic Blvd. in Kernan Village after witnesses called 911.

Witnesses told JSO that a man in his 20s driving an older brown Chevy van pulled up to the tent before driving through, running over their tables and chairs. Volunteers for the Republican Party were registering people to vote.

After running over chairs and tables, witnesses told police that Timm got out of the van, took a video recording, made obscene gestures and left. No volunteers were hurt, according to JSO.

“I thought he was going to slow down, but he didn’t and he gunned his engine and headed straight,” a volunteer with the Republican Party of Duval County who said she was narrowly missed by the car said.

JSO later received a tip that the van was at a home on 2011 Brighton Bay Trail. JSO approached the suspect at the home and he was arrested.

While Timm is a Jacksonville resident, First Coast News confirmed he is not registered to vote in Florida.

The Duval County Democratic Party released a statement on Timm’s arrest, saying, “We are thankful the perpetrator of this cowardly attack has been apprehended by JSO and continue to call for civility during this election cycle.”

JSO said intelligence detectives were called to the scene, though it is unsure if the crash was politically motivated.

“We’re obviously going to follow that up and we take that very seriously,” said JSO Lieutenant Larry Gayle. “Anybody who interrupts a political process in this country needs to be taken very seriously.”

In his first court appearance Sunday, a Jacksonville judge set Timm’s bond at over $500,000 on multiple counts.

[Additional information]

The man arrested Saturday after reportedly crashing a van into the tent of a Republican voter group was training to become a sound engineer on the First Coast, according to the president of the Jacksonville branch of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Susan Phillips, President of the Jacksonville branch of I.A.T.S.E. Local 115, told First Coast News that Gregory William Loel Timm, 27, had recently joined the union.

Phillips said he went by “William,” and that he was hired at ASM Global, an international venue management and services company.

According to Phillips, Timm had just been hired at ASM (formerly known as SMG) and was training to become a sound engineer. First Coast News has reached out to ASM Global for a statement. We are still waiting for a response.

Saul Lucio, Business Agent for the Jacksonville branch of I.A.T.S.E. Local 115, said about 650 people are affiliated with their group. It is a referral service for employees and only about 100 or so people are members.

Lucio said Timm isn’t a member of the group but was referred to work and became affiliated with them in March of 2019.

Phillips said union members immediately recognized Timm’s van and mugshot from the pictures provided by witnesses and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“We are just horrified,” Phillips said over the phone.